Researching the Occult

So one of the problems I’ve run into with using magic in my series is that doing research is really difficult. My online searching keep running into pen and paper roleplaying games or online MMOs instead of anything that’s actually historically probable. Luckily I’ve got a few books at home that help me get to some really useful information, even if they’re a bit minimal. One of the books that has been surprisingly useful during the writing of these two books has been The New Encyclopedia of the Occult. It’s great to get ideas for how things could work in an amplified magical world, but sometimes can be kind of confusing. It really makes you realize how very complex and confusing the occult is though, and I keep seeing names that have been used in a plethora of video game references. I found references to Sephiroth (Final Fantasy 7) and Seraph (Soul Reaver series), so my brain is totally ruined as far as what these actually referred to historically.

Thanksgiving was fabulous, and even though yesterday all I wanted to do was veg out and play on the Sims 3 Season expansion pack, I still have been keeping up with my NaNo work. It’s annoying to think I’ll still be heading into work tomorrow, but some things can’t be helped, right? On the plus side I’ve shot ahead on my word count, so I should be hitting the 50k mark before the November 30th deadline.

Project: Smoke & Witchcraft

Woot! Over the 50% mark!

Summary: My trio of protagonists (a werewolf, a half-vampire, and a sharpshooter) head to New Orleans to investigate a series of unexplained abductions. So far this pulpy paranormal will have plenty of banter, a slew of fistfights, undercover operations that fail miserably, battles of magic, a necromancer seductress, a coven of witches with a bad rap, and a ton of zombie alligators. Also I plan to toss the damsel in distress idea on its head since both guys will likely need saving. Oh, and did I mention awkward romance?

Current Word Count: 43,653

New Words Written Today: 2,700

Progress: Witches should never be angered. Ever. The guys are still recovering from their intrusion. Rennick also got in over his head with his flirtations and very nearly got assaulted. Kind of a change for him, and I don’t think his will be the first time he gets an unhappy turn of events like that. Also I’m having a good time describing the three witches. They’re all forming their own personalities and their own screwed up issues. I do think Ada has probably the worst problems, even though she looks the most innocent. It’s a good thing that she has two coven sisters to keep her straight.

Total Words for 2012: 156,666

4 thoughts on “Researching the Occult

  1. Add the words “grimoire” and “sigil” to your search. I found all kinds of things regarding the occult using these terms, including medieval summoning rituals for various demons. Another useful reference is the work “Visions of the Occult” by Gettings.

    Sephiroth originally refers to Kabbalah; Final Fantasy VII actually boasts many references to witchcraft, the occult, history, and mythology that go over many people’s heads. It could even be considered a complete allegory if given the treatment normally reserved for literary novels. I was at one point considering writing my masters thesis on it just to piss off the professors at ASU.

    • Ooh very good to know! Anything to help me get to some decent search results on this stuff is helpful. It’s frustrating when all I get are D&D and WOW magic systems instead of more realistic sources.

      That is really funny that FF7 has so many references. I admit when I saw that in the Encyclopedia I did a double-take. Now that you mention it, I’m thinking of the Tree of Life and all the references I saw to that as well, it makes total sense. I for one would have been interested to read your paper talking about all the occult references. My sister wrote hers analyzing literary learning behaviors in Yu-Gi-Oh card game tournaments, so yours doesn’t seem that crazy to me.

    • Thanks! Here’s hoping I can keep at it for the rest of the week. Sometimes I need that fire that NaNo provides to get me serious about churning out words on a regular basis.

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